/ S Kintail Ridge: Huge cross on the ground

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Tom Ripley 07 Nov 2019

I walked the South Kintail Ridge earlier in the week, and couldn’t help but notice a huge cross of hardcore/tarmac, plus a couple of small buildings, to the south, near the Glenquoich Forrest/Loch Cuiach. It’s not marked on the Map. Does anyone what it is? It sort of looks like a small runway, but I don’t know why one would be there. 

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Harry Jarvis 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom Ripley:

Is this what you saw:

https://zoom.earth/#view=57.112767,-5.269879,17z

No idea what it is, but it may be related to the hydro scheme at Alltbeithe. 

Post edited at 17:24
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Tom Ripley 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> Is this what you saw:

> No idea what it is, but it may be related to the hydro scheme at Alltbeithe. 

Yep! Curious eh?

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DaveHK 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom Ripley:

It's an airfield for toffs flying in to kill things. Quite a few highland estates have or had them.

Post edited at 17:56
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ScraggyGoat 07 Nov 2019
In reply to DaveHK:

Correct, Barrisdale estate (now predominantly sold on) and the Glenquoich Forest were/are separately owned by two brothers whom are City based, and would fly up in a light aircraft with rough field capability.  The photo link is before all the extra hydro tracks were put in. The strip has been there for many years.

Guardians of the countryside.....discuss.?

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Kevin Woods 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom Ripley:

RE all the most recent tracks - completely bloody depressing that if you have the cash to buy up land, this is the kind of damage you can do it, just because.

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smally 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Kevin Woods:

I wonder what type of land reform we can look forward to, after Indyref2 ?

Post edited at 20:13
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ScraggyGoat 07 Nov 2019
In reply to smally:

Land reform post indyref2;  Bugger all, the SNP were initially viewed with horror by the landed set, but they have turned out to be a highland lairds wet dream.  They can now and have bulldozed hill tracks for sporting purposes with impunity, the SNP having voted with the Tories to derail Andy Wightmans Bill.  Whereas before they were slightly  scarred of the potential political backlash.  More tracks, badly constructed, and inefficient micro hydro in iconic landscapes....for subsidy.... 'On you go my lord'.   Wind farms and more subsidy in designated wild land, the SNP will call that planning application in for you to make sure it goes through under the 'national' interest. SSSI designations shouldn't get in the way of golf courses either; the local councils planning committee need to know thier place.  Thier currently deliberately 'sitting on' the Werrity Report into Grouse Moor Management in an attempt to kick that can down the road.  If you want to sell a bit of scrappy land the SNP will buy it off you, but the Scottish land fund is now a fraction of what the Lib-Lab government provided, enough for the odd flag waving small purchase to keep the faithful happy, but no real fire power.  If the SNP were serious about land reform explain how come they have Fergus Ewing as rural minister, and while in coalition with the Greens they have kept Andy Wightman away from committees where his knowledge and ability would be very beneficial.....

Pre Indy and post Indy the SNP will not do anything that might affect the economy, and that includes upsetting landed money.

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smally 07 Nov 2019
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

Yeah, things seemed more encouraging in the heady,inaugural years of the new Scottish Parliament.  Apart from the Greens, it's hard to find any appetite among the main parties to meaningfully address Land Reform.

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Kevin Woods 07 Nov 2019
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

You're totally correct in criticism of the SNP but you are conflating Indy & SNP, like so many do. You realise Andy Wightman's party, the Greens, are pro-indy? In an independant Scotland, political parties will shift and split down the middle of the populace, like these things typically do. I think the last thing to happen would be the SNP maintain the lead they hold now.

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Toccata 07 Nov 2019
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

I assure you they are not sitting on the Werritty report. The lead author is a friend of mine and has been rather ill this year leading to a significant delay in its preparation.

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Kevin Woods 07 Nov 2019
In reply to smally:

Pretty amazing how much got done in the opening years. I look now wondering where it all ground to a halt. I just finished Soil and Soul by Alasdair Macintosh a book covering the Eigg buy-out, among other things.

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tom_in_edinburgh 07 Nov 2019
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

> Pre Indy and post Indy the SNP will not do anything that might affect the economy, and that includes upsetting landed money.

When we get Indy the issue which holds the SNP together is no longer a factor.  The SNP is bound to fracture and coalesce with remnants of Tory and Labour to form new left and right of centre parties. 

The Greens will have much more influence in post Indy Scotland than they do in the UK because the proportional representation system for the Scottish parliament is far better for them than the FPTP for Westminster. They'll pick up voters and politicians from the major parties as the environment will be top of many people's agenda once independence is achieved.

My guess is that within ten years of Indy we'll have got rid of the monarchy and aristocratic titles and there will have been serious land reform.   The way to get the landowners is to grind them down through the tax system and it'll take powers currently held by Westminster to do it.

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Deleted bagger 07 Nov 2019
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> Pretty amazing how much got done in the opening years. I look now wondering where it all ground to a halt. I just finished Soil and Soul by Alasdair Macintosh a book covering the Eigg buy-out, among other things.

Not every native of Eigg was happy with the community buy out. Several people were effectively driven out by the Trust. Eigg's got a good propaganda machine.

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Kevin Woods 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Deleted bagger:

I'm sure they didn't. But I don't believe a system that allows Eigg to do what it's done in the past twenty five years is not worthy of a closer look.

Or you're broadly saying that landlordism is indeed the answer - as though that and feudalism hasn't been a nail in the coffin for Highland communities historically.

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Kevin Woods 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom Ripley:

Just reading back I feel like I've derailed this thread a bit, sorry!

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Deleted bagger 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Kevin Woods:

> I'm sure they didn't. But I don't believe a system that allows Eigg to do what it's done in the past twenty five years is not worthy of a closer look.

> Or you're broadly saying that landlordism is indeed the answer - as though that and feudalism hasn't been a nail in the coffin for Highland communities historically.

As always it's good to get information from multiple sources. Whilst I'm no fan of landlordism it is true to say that Community Trusts or conservation charities have the the potential to be  bad landlords. People born and bred on Eigg where ostracized and felt compelled to leave.

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In reply to Tom Ripley:

Just to bring it back to the topic (sorry guys - interesting discussion!) ... they've properly mucked up that glen haven't they. 

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ScraggyGoat 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com:

Yep amazing in its extent and the brazenness of the low cost low quality track construction.  I still can't quiet fathom how small micro hydro plants, providing episodic variable output, susceptible to sedimentation blockage, and transmission losses can financially support that amount of plant and earth moving.

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Kevin Woods 08 Nov 2019
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

I'm also not sure why they felt the need to put tracks in on both sides of that Loch Quoich inlet.

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ScraggyGoat 08 Nov 2019
In reply to Kevin Woods:

The west side had the original access, though its been 'beefed up'.  I presume the bridge either had a weight or width restriction, hence the new one on East side (but it is an awful mess). Though the reservoir water level scar is also bad.  Given that arm of the reservoir hasn't been inundated for years, it would have been possible to have made the track lower on that scar line (assuming it had to be done).........rather than higher; I think the contractors probably took the owners for all they could...................still amazing even with ?subsidy? that it can be profitable.....

Post edited at 11:52
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Eric9Points 08 Nov 2019
In reply to smally:

Given that land reform was one of the first major reforms brought in by the Scottish Government after devolution and after wide consultation with other parties, both politics and those of a more general interest, what further reforms do you realistically expect?

I'd suggest if you do want further changes then in 2021 vote for the party that says it will deliver them. In the meantime why not keep up the pressure on your MSP.

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Jim Fraser 00:16 Sun
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

> Pre Indy and post Indy the SNP will not do anything that might affect the economy, and that includes upsetting landed money.

The big problem there of course is that landed money and their joke economy are not wealth creators in the Highland economy. Their impact is smaller than hilwalking and climbing and stands in the way of economically and environmentally sustainable future for the Highlands. I remember sitting beside a Mr Wightman at a seminar 20 years ago where this was discussed in some detail, so it's not news. 

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Tom Ripley 09:43 Mon

Whoa I opened a right can of worms there... thanks for the info.

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